Linea 10, Madrid, 2007, 37 x 90 cm © Pablo Zuleta Zahr
The SEPTEMBER gallery is mounting the first solo exhibition in Berlin devoted to the photo and video artist Pablo Zuleta Zahr. The show is called BUTTERFLYJACKPOT. We cordially invite you to the opening on December 7th beginning at 7 pm.
Pablo Zuleta Zahr's video installation BUTTERFLYJACKPOT brings four women together for the course of one day. The women did not know one another previously. The artist cast the actors, who come from four different cities in Belgium, Germany, and Holland, on the Internet. The participants meet each other for the first time in their lives and spend the day according to exact specifications. Each of the women takes the others on a tour of her home city. She shows them her favorite sight and her favorite restaurant, and subsequently invites them to her apartment. The scenes were filmed with the artist's static camera and by one of the invited women using a hand-held camera, but never by the hostess. As a result, the individual sequences follow a temporal scheme based on the concept of the "golden cut." Each scene is exactly 1.66 times as long as the previous one.
The four resulting "stories" are projected next to one another in a split-screen procedure, eliciting a puzzled reaction from viewers. The four similarly clad and similar-looking women swap roles in the respective encounters according to a rotation principle that was worked out exactly. The temporal progression adheres to a fixed symmetry. At the same time, deviations, disruptions, and technical problems were consciously retained in the video.
While the "stories" fit together synchronously in some spots, and similarities between places, people, movements, and camera angles give rise to an artificial déjà vu experience, in other places virtual anarchical chaos breaks out. The title, BUTTERFLYJACKPOT, refers to the "jackpot" hit by getting three identical pictures next to each other on slot machines. In parallel, Zuleta Zahr takes the concept of the "butterfly effect" from chaos theory as an allusion to the fact that even the most tender movement can have massive, unforeseen effects on the structure of time and space and on our relationships: "The beating of a butterfly's wings in the Amazon can unleash a hurricane in Europe."
The incorporation of chance, which is one of Zuleta Zahr's filmic principles, is reminiscent of the concept of indeterminacy which the avant-garde composer John Cage implemented in countless variations. As a composer Cage withdrew behind his work, whose genesis was no longer the result of subjective compositional decisions, but of an objective moment - chance.
We are also happy to be able to show Pablo Zuleta Zahr's most recent photo series. In it, the artist continues his examination of people in public places. While for earlier photographic works he grouped people filmed by chance based on outer criteria, now he sketches intimate psychographs in the Madrid subway.
Pablo Zuleta Zahr studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy, where he was a Master Student under Thomas Ruff. Since 2003, works by the 29-year-old Chilean artist have been shown in numerous international exhibitions. BUTTERFLYJACKPOT was created in the framework of the "After Cage" project in 2006 for the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (NAK), and was shown by Studio La Città from Verona at the Art Unlimited 2007 in Basel. Pablo Zuleta Zahr lives and works in Berlin.